Send to

Choose Destination
BMC Psychiatry. 2014 Oct 8;14:284. doi: 10.1186/s12888-014-0284-x.

Validation of the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) for screening of major depressive episode among adults from the general population.



Standardized questionnaires designed for the identification of depression are useful for monitoring individual as well as population mental health. The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) has originally been developed to assist primary care health professionals to detect postnatal depression, but several authors recommend its use outside of the postpartum period. In Brazil, the use of the EPDS for screening depression outside the postpartum period and among non-selected populations has not been validated. The present study aimed to assess the validity of the EPDS as a screening instrument for major depressive episode (MDE) among adults from the general population.


This is a validation study that used a population-based sampling technique to select the participants. The study was conducted in the city of Pelotas, Brazil. Households were randomly selected by two stage conglomerates with probability proportional to size. EPDS was administered to 447 adults (≥20 years). Approximately 17 days later, participants were reinterviewed by psychiatrics and psychologists using a structured diagnostic interview (Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview, MINI). We calculated the sensitivity and specificity of each cutoff point of EPDS, and values were plotted as a receiver operator characteristic curve.


The best cutoff point for screening depression was ≥8, with 80.0% (64.4 - 90.9%) sensitivity and 87.0% (83.3 - 90.1%) specificity. Among women the best cutoff point was ≥8 too with values of sensitivity and specificity of 84.4% (67.2 - 94.7%) and 81.3% (75.5 - 86.1%), respectively. Among men, the best cutoff point was ≥7 (75% sensitivity and 89% specificity).


The EPDS was shown to be suitable for screening MDE among adults in the community.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for BioMed Central Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center